Portal 2 isn't just any computer game. Like its precursor (and most Valve games, really) it's dripping with pure character, a fact that results in a fan base that's a little bit more creative than usual. Even though the game's only been out for a week and a half or so, the fans have already come up with a whole bunch of excellent, handcrafted Portal 2 wallpapers. We're always looking for ways to spruce up our desktop, so we gathered together 21 of our favorites. If you're a fan of Valve's latest masterpiece, or just of high-quality wallpapers, read on!
Just as swapping parts in your rig can make all the difference, so can custom building an interface into your very own OS. Mods like Rainmeter have spawned communities dedicated to trickin' out their user interfaces--many with dramatic and beautiful new looks. Check out our 20 favorite in the gallery after the jump!
I was going to open my inaugural column on personal computing by replacing the word “rifle” in the Rifleman's Creed (think Full Metal Jacket[NSFW language]) with “computer.” In doing so, I realized a few things. First, it turns out an artist named 9000 already did that, with his piece Turing Creed. Second, the metaphor only extends so far. And then it gets kinda weird.
This is my computer. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My computer is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it. I must master my life. Without me, my computer is useless. Without my computer, I am useless. I must use my computer true. I must use my computer faster than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must outcomputer him before he outcomputers me.
—9000, “Turing Creed”
This is my computer.
Okay, most of you have computers. Or you like computers. Or you have a friend who faxes you articles from our website to convince you to get a computer, except it doesn't help because it's like a foreign language to you, which your friend doesn't get because he thinks everyone should instinctively know what the heck a hard drive is and why it matters how fast it goes around in a circle. No? Anyway, let's assume you have a computer. And, because you're reading this on Maximumpc.com, we're gonna assume that your computer is not just a tool to you.
From Google Desktop to the Windows Sidebar introduced in Vista, there have been several attempts to integrate our online life onto our desktop. But none of them come close to Rainmeter, a totally customizable platform for decking out your desktop with a variety of useful applets that can stand prominently in the foreground or blend into the background.
There's a lot you can do with Rainmeter thanks to a diverse collection of available 'skins' (think of them as widgets), all of which can be individually tailored in look and function. There are skins for keeping tabs on system resources, displaying RSS feeds, sending and receiving Twitter messages, and even recording notes.
Rainmeter isn't at all difficult to use, but there is an initial learning curve as you come to understand just how powerful this unassuming app really is. On the following pages, we'll guide you through the setup process and show you the ins and outs of using Rainmeter. We'll also highlight the 12 best skins out of the hundreds that are available to give you a head start on decking out your desktop like never before.
SearchWiki is intended to give you the ability to fine-tune your search results and eliminate irrelevant or obsolete results. However, some critics are worried about how SearchWiki works. To find out what they're concerned about, join us after the jump.